Monday, January 14, 2008

A Message from the APF President

For many of us, the New Year marks a time of renewed vigor and enthusiasm for the year ahead. Here at the Arizona Preservation Foundation, we also look forward to what lies ahead and have no doubt that this year in preservation will be even better than the last. But, before we forge ahead, let’s take a moment to reflect on a few accomplishments from the last months of 2007.

In August of 2007, APF released its annual list of Arizona’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The Foundation continues to monitor these properties and often takes an active role in preventing their destruction. An ongoing example is Scottsdale’s Kerr Cultural Center (KCC), given by the Kerr family to Arizona State University for cultural use only. Past APF President Jim McPherson and others are fighting to have Scottsdale declare an historic overlay to protect the site. Our efforts have had significant impact on Scottsdale and ASU. We will help you prepare for the March 13 Scottsdale Preservation Commission hearing on the issue and will urge you to attend and voice your support.

Improvements have also been made on Florence’s Second Pinal County Courthouse. When the 1891 property was placed on the Endangered List, the roof was in an egregious state of disrepair, to the point of needing a water collection system on the second floor. The building is currently undergoing a roof repair with the help of the Town of Florence, the Arizona Office of Tourism, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

We also maintain an Arizona Properties to Watch List and are pleased to announce there have been significant strides made in the preservation of more than one of the properties. Some time after an APF "Action Alert" went out, Phoenix’s 1909 M. Edward Morin House moved right off the watch list and into its new location at 621 N. Fifth Ave. The home’s 2004 owners opposed the city’s effort to place it on the historic registry and went as far as applying for a demolition permit. Dan Klocke, who purchased the building and arranged for its relocation, plans to renovate the house and rent it to a business.

The early Wickenburg settlers’ graves were placed on the Watch List and have also been saved (again with public mobilization from an APF "Action Alert"). In November, the decision to move the more than hundred-year-old grave of Henry Wickenburg and four early pioneers from the hill on which they rest, was repealed. The property surrounding the tombstones has been developed into housing and the property owners want the tombs moved. The City Council originally voted in favor of the property owners, but after intervention by the Wickenburg Historical Preservation Society, State Historic Preservation Office, and concerned citizens, the decision was rescinded.

Please bookmark this e-newletter as we're always posting news and information about historic preservation and Arizona's heritage. Literally, hundreds of news items have been posted in the past few years. Also, take some time and visit the APF website at And provide us with your feedback. We'd love to hear from you.